Some words about suffering
Suffering is a big topic for humans and a lot of wise men thought about suffering, where it comes from, why we have to suffer and how we can escape this endless suffering. The probably most famous man who made research on this topic is Buddha. The escape from suffering was somehow the center point of all his teachings.
Today I want to share my personal point of view about suffering as I think that not everything is said about it.
According to the great teachers of the Eastern World suffering is in main a matter of karma. Further on it is a matter of the material world we are living in. Then it is also a matter of the veils of Maya which limit our understanding of ourselves, God and creation. And I want to add that suffering is also a side effect of the incarnation which we have chosen.
The exoteric teachings say that if you behave well or if you do good things, you will reap good fruits – the law of karma. And if you do something bad, something bad will happen to you. So if you suffer you are guilty and no one else. Indeed the exoteric teachings are quite at the surface, simplifying inner teachings and higher law for the purpose of keeping a good moral of normal people. From this idea or aim also these “funny” teachings are derived that a really bad guy will incarnate as an animal or insect. So people fear doing evil things and focus instead on doing good things which is healthy for society.
The inner teachings say that the effects of an action are analogue to the cause – again the law of karma but on the deeper level of metaphysics – and that the effects come back to you as you have set them. This is the responsibility of the creator for his creation. Regarding the topic suffering there are certainly intentions and actions which lead to suffering. You can suffer from following high ideals and you can suffer because you have done something stupid or bad. So the law of karma – cause and effects – is one aspect where suffering is a matter of self responsible behavior. This is true for your present life and derived from your former incarnations there are still effects which need to be balanced and which can lead to suffering – the seeds of karma. This old karma is something which can only be dissolved by healing and refinement of your own personality and karma yoga – selfless service. As long as we do not take consciously countermeasures, old bad karma leads in the present incarnation and future incarnations to suffering. But again – this lies in our responsibility.
Then we have this phenomenon that suffering is indeed a quality of the material world. The material world is the opposite of the spiritual realms. While the higher worlds are enlightened and blessed and somehow unlimited, the material world is in darkness and consists of limitations. Darkness, – ignorance and limitations lead easily to suffering. This world requires hard work to stay alive while the spiritual realms support the being itself. Life is here free of charge. Then the material world is designed as a school or kindergarten for souls to make experiences and grow. Learning by doing comes along with suffering naturally. We learn from the bad effects when we do stupid things as we get hurt and suffer. And certainly we do not want to suffer and so we grow. On a subconscious level we all know and remember the good times and the good life conditions on the higher planes and so we long for happiness, peace, for heaven, trying to escape the wheel of suffering and hard work.
The veils of Maya separate the human being from the perception and understanding of God, the higher realms, his true being and the true nature of creation. This separation causes a lot of suffering which can only be ended by spiritual studies and spiritual training. The spiritual student has to unveil the truth. This gives a deeper understanding of the purpose of life which helps to reduce the feeling of suffering. As soon as you can see a sense in suffering you can cope better with it. You don´t take it personal any longer. In this context I want to point at the fact that even the great ones, the enlightened ones, the teachers of mankind suffered a lot and that there is not a single human being who does not suffer. It is more the point how you deal with your suffering respectively the situation which makes you suffer. An enlightened person sees the sense, takes it not personal and perceives it also from the point of view of eternity, the cosmic consciousness which is quite neutral to the happenings of life. A normal person feels himself as a victim and does not really understand. “Why does this happen to me?” And here we come to a main point: Instead of being sad or of complaining or blaming everyone and makes much more sense to look for measurements to get out of this situation of suffering. The enlightened one does this and he forgets directly the suffering when he moves into the next situation in his life as he lives in the moment – the great now which is a part of eternity.
At last suffering is a side effect of the incarnation you have planned in the higher realms. If you plan an incarnation in a time frame of war or disasters, etc. then you have to deal with this situation. Depending on your own karma you will manage it in a good or bad way with more or less support. It is also similar with all the animals which have to suffer because of humans. They were not the “bad guys” in a former incarnation who have to pay now. They have to “deal” with very bad conditions of life. In a different time and place they probably wouldn´t have to suffer. So suffering is also a matter of simply the unhealthy or wrong time and place, a bad situation.
Like Buddha, Jesus and other great teachers have taught the only way to escape suffering is enlightenment and the attitude to wish everyone and every being only the best (without any judgement). As soon as love, wisdom and compassion rule, suffering will reduce much or will end completely.